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    19.6 Assessment of Library Users

    Assessment of library users takes several forms. During the past two years the libraries' assessment team has completed several surveys of students and faculty. Last year the University, including the libraries, contracted with an assessment firm, Dey Systems, Inc. to develop instruments for measuring students' educational outcomes. In addition, librarians hold meetings and focus groups with graduate students, undergraduate students and faculty to assess information needs and concerns of these groups. Suggestion forms are available throughout the libraries and on the Web sites and help the library staff address library and information needs and concerns.

    The libraries have utilized information obtained from the student and faculty surveys in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 to improve library services and document delivery. Users indicated a need for more computers, more electronic information, more books, more journals, better photocopying, quicker interlibrary loans and additional hours. In response, the libraries have regularly added to and improved library holdings and access to electronic information.The libraries have extended library hours, updated and added computers, and instituted a state-of-the art photocopying service. The libraries also began loaning wireless laptops to people for use in the libraries.

    The trends in user needs and utilization of the libraries during the past three years show an increase in the use of all library services, but especially in reference, the online catalog and electronic databases.